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April 14, 2014

First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014: The Complete Skywatcher’s Guide

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 2:01 pm
Blood Moon

Blood Moon

First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014: The Complete Skywatcher’s Guide
By Joe Rao, Space.com Skywatching Columnist | April 14, 2014 06:00am ET

Editor’s update for 2 pm ET: For the latest weather forecast for tonight’s total lunar eclipse, read: Total Lunar Eclipse Weather: Forecast Bleak for Eastern US

No enthusiastic skywatcher misses a total eclipse of the moon, and if weather permits tonight, neither should you.

The spectacle is often more beautiful and interesting than one would think. During the time that the moon is entering into and later emerging from out of the Earth’s shadow, secondary phenomena may be overlooked. You can also watch the eclipse live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, the Slooh community telescope and the Virtual Telescope Project.

Observers that know what to look for have a better chance of seeing the stunning eclipse, weather permitting. This first total lunar eclipse of 2014 is set to begin tonight (April 14) into the wee hours of Tuesday morning (April 15). The lunar eclipse is set to begin at about 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT), and it should last about 3.5 hours. The eclipse should be visible, weather permitting, through most of North America and part of South America. Read more…
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From The Old Farmer’s Almanac

April’s Full Moon, Full Pink Moon, heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.

This Full Pink Moon rises on April 15. This year, the 15th brings a total eclipse of the Moon—which will be fully visible from North America.

Farmer’s Almanac’s Full Moon Video featuring, Amy Nieskens
“Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about April’s Full Pink Moon. Click below to watch video.”

Space.Com’s Official Website
Farmer’s Almanac Official Website

March 17, 2014

“An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.”

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 4:03 pm

clover

Image is from TrendPhotos.Org

February 13, 2014

The Full Snow Moon: February 14, 2014

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 8:42 am
Full Moon

Full Moon

The Snow Moon will be 100% full February 14, 2014 at 4:54 P.M. Mountain time.

The following information is from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Full Moon Names
February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.

Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon.

Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.

Farmer’s Almanac’s Full Moon Video featuring, Amy Nieskens
“Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about February’s Full Snow Moon. Click below to watch video.”

Full Moon Names

Native Americans full Moon names were created to help different tribes track the seasons. Think of it as a “nickname” for the Moon! See our list of other full Moon names for each month of the year and their meanings.

Why Native Americans Named the Moons
The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained 4 seasons and started at a certain season, such as spring or fall. Others counted 5 seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years, to keep it in sync with the seasons.

Each tribe that did name the full Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year while others might use 5, 6, or 7; also, certain names might change the next year. A full Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period, or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name itself was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred during that time in their location. read more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

January 19, 2014

National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado

Filed under: Colorado Information, Miscellaneous — William @ 12:00 pm

First published January 12, 2014

Rancher Bill Joe Dilley works with bison in the stockyard at the National Western Stock Show last January. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post )

Rancher Bill Joe Dilley works with bison in the stockyard at the National Western Stock Show last January. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post )

National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado
January 11 - 26, 2014

Background: In its 108th year, the National Western Stock Show is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate level scholarships in agriculture and medicine for practice in rural areas. It is also our mission to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier Stock Show, Rodeo, Horse Show and center for year-round events. The 16-day show also serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, largest horse show and Colorado’s largest tradeshow.

Attendance: Overall attendance in 2013 was 628,366. The attendance record was set during the Stock Show’s 100th anniversary in 2006 at 726,972.

Exhibits: More than 15,000 head of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, alpacas, bison, yak, poultry and rabbits step foot on the grounds of the National Western Stock Show each year. The National Western Stock Show is noted for hosting the world’s only carload and pen cattle show, held in the historic Denver Union Stockyards.

Trade Show: More than 350 vendors fill the nearly 100-acre show grounds with a variety of food and shopping opportunities. The National Western Trade Show offer a variety of products including fine art and jewelry, clothing, household items and agricultural products and equipment.

Ticketed Events: National Western hosts close to 50 performances in the Stadium Arena, Denver Coliseum and National Western Events Center. Among these are the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, PBR Bull Riding Touring Pro Finale, Pro Rodeos, Martin Luther King, Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo, the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumping Stake, National Western Wild West Show, RAM Invitational Freestyle Reining, Grand Prix show jumping, Super Dogs shows, An Evening of Dancing Horses® and Draft Horse and Mule Shows.

National Western Stock Show Official Website

More later…

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January 13, 2014

The Full Wolf Moon: January 15, 2014

Filed under: Las Vegas Information, Miscellaneous — William @ 6:45 pm
*Adobe Moon in the City Poster

*Adobe Moon in the City Poster

The Full Wolf Moon: January 15, 2014 at 8:53 P.M. Las Vegas Time

From The Old Farmer’s Almanac
“January is the month of the Full Wolf Moon. It appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.”

Farmer’s Almanac’s Full Moon Video featuring, Amy Nieskens
“Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about January’s Full Wolf Moon. Click below to watch video.”

Moon Folklore:
A bright first Moon promises rain and a bountiful harvest; a red-tinted Moon means a dry year.
A growing Moon and a flowing tide are lucky times to marry.
A halo around the Moon predicts wet or stormy weather.

Thank You Farmer’s Almanac

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*Adobe Moon in the City Poster by William Carbone is available for purchase

December 19, 2013

Christmas in Provence By Susan Aiello

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 4:48 pm

Christmas in Provence
By Susan Aiello

Table du gros souper de Noël avec ses trois nappes, reconstitution dans le hall de l'Hôtel de Ville d'Avignon - by Jean-Louis Zimermann

Table du gros souper de Noël avec ses trois nappes, reconstitution dans le hall de l'Hôtel de Ville d'Avignon - by Jean-Louis Zimermann

It’s just before midnight on Christmas Eve night. The sky is clear, and a thousand stars glimmer above. A procession of dozens of shepherds, some carrying candles, some playing fifes, led by a young lamb in a straw-filled cart decorated with red ribbons, who in turn is led by the lamb’s mother, walk up the hill to the church for Christmas Midnight Mass. The lamb is presented to the priest, who leads it to the creche, to keep company with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and all the santons (little saints). This is Christmas Eve night in Provence, France, where the two-month Christmas season is sparked with magic and laced with the enchantment of old, enduring traditions.

Cacho-fio
Before attending Midnight Mass, families gather for two ceremonies - “cacho-fio” (Yule log ritual) and then for Gros Souper, or Great Supper. Before the great dinner, the oldest and youngest members of the family cut a yule log from a fruit tree, then carry it around the dining table three times before blessing it with mulled wine and burning it in the hearth.

Gros Souper – Reveillion
Reveillion means “awakening” or “awake”, and a reveillion dinner is one that lasts long into the night, generally until the wee morning hours. At the Christmas Eve dinner, seven fish and seafood dishes are served, along with local vegetables and seven wines. Some say that seven represents the sufferings of Mary, and some say it signifies the wounds of Christ. Before all the dishes are put out on the table together, the table is set with three tablecloths, three candles and three bowls of wheat, signifying the Holy Trinity. The wheat – St. Barbe’s wheat - has been saved from December 4, which is when the Christmas season begins. An extra place has been set at the table, for a deceased ancestor, an angel, or a beggar who may drop by. When the meal is finished and the table cleared, some people pull up the top tablecloth and tie up the ends, leaving the crumbs inside, and then place this bundle outside their door, signifying their help for those who are hungry.

Table du Gros Souper de Noël, tradition provençale - Nov. 29, 2010, by Veronique Pagnier

Table du Gros Souper de Noël, tradition provençale, Nov. 29, 2010 - by Veronique Pagnier

Les Treize Desserts
After Midnight Mass comes the second half of the Gros Souper – dessert. Not just one dessert, but 13, signifying Jesus and the 12 apostles at the Last Supper. There are four dishes signifying the four mendicants (religious orders that have taken a vow of poverty): Figs for the Franciscans, almonds for the Carmelites, raisins for the Dominicans and walnuts or hazelnuts for the Augustines. In addition, there are two nougats, one white and one black, signifying, some say, good and evil. Dates are included, because Jesus was from the Middle East. The remaining six desserts can be fresh or preserved cherries, pears, mandarins, apples, oranges or winter melon. And included in this dessert meal is a sweet bread made with olive oil and orange. Traditionally, any un-eaten desserts are left out for three days, for ancestors, angels, beggars, and, of course, for the family to much on!

Around 4am, when everyone has eaten their fill of desserts, opened their gifts, and filled their spirits with the warmth of celebrating with loved ones, it is time to sleep. And then, up again in the morning, to prepare Christmas lunch, which is usually from noon to 4pm. Lunch may be a chestnut-filled roast turkey with lots of side dishes, or a more simple meal.

Santons
People purchase all these wonderful foods at outdoor Christmas markets, which open up on December 4, the beginning of the season. These markets sell foods, gifts and santons, which are made of wood or clay, and are usually just a few inches tall. While a creche always has figurines of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, the three wise men, some barn animals, and perhaps an angel or two, all the rest of the santons are townspeople – a baker, the town crier, a fisherman, and all the ordinary townspeople of 18th -19th century Provencal villages, bringing Baby Jesus their wares.

During the French Revolution, when churches were shut down and destroyed, and Christmas Midnight Mass and nativity scenes banned, the people in Provence began keeping creches in their homes, and the little santons became important in continuing Christmas traditions. Santonniers are in great demand, and the little saints can now be purchased online.

Santon in Mistral Wind Arles.jpg,   commons.wikimedia.org

Santon in Mistral Wind Arles, commons.wikimedia.org

A public nativity scene may have up to 600 santons. In public displays and also in private homes, it is common to move the figurines around each day, to signify the progression of the characters as they travel to the manger. Baby Jesus is put out at midnight on Christmas Day, and the three wise men, the Kings from the Orient, arrive on Epiphany, January 6.

Provence Mistral Santon, commons:wikimedia.org

Provence Mistral Santon, commons:wikimedia.org

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day bring another reveillion, with Gros Soupers on both days. There is much eating, much drinking of wine, and boisterous merriment all around the towns.

Epiphany
Epiphany is celebrated by serving Gateau des Rois (Kings’ Cake), which is made with candied fruit and sprinkled with sugar. Inside the cake is hidden either a santon or a bean. The person who gets the cake slice with the prize becomes the “servant”, and must perform songs and dances to entertain everyone.

Candlemas
Families and friends gather often between New Year’s Day and Candlemas, prolonging the season with dinners, lunches and wine parties. The Christmas season in Provence ends on Candlemas, on February 2. The Christmas decorations are taken down, and the santons are wrapped up carefully and tucked away for their 10-month sleep until next December 4, when they stir in their little paper wrappings, wake up, and are brought out to begin the next Christmas season.

Joyeux Noel! Joyeux Noel!

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Table du gros souper de Noël avec ses trois nappes, reconstitution dans le hall de l’Hôtel de Ville d’Avignon - by Jean-Louis Zimermann originally published on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanlouis_zimmermann/3132570245/

December 18, 2013

Track Santa! By Susan Aiello

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 7:00 am

FINAL NORAD STATS, December 25, 2013: 7,060,919,100 GIFTS DELIVERED BY SANTA CLAUS!

First published December 15, 2013

NORAD Tracks Santa

NORAD Tracks Santa

Have you ever wondered where Santa and his reindeer are, at any given time, on Christmas Eve? Well, you can find out here: NORAD Tracks Santa

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), has been tracking Santa since 1955. And, with the internet, the tracking and reporting are even better, because you can see Santa and his reindeer flying over towns and cities in Google Earth 3D.

But don’t wait until Christmas Eve to visit this website. While Santa and the elves are still making toys and preparing for the big trip, there is plenty to do on NORAD’s site. Log on now to visit the North Pole, play games and music, and watch movies. And be sure to visit the North Pole Library, where you can learn about Santa, his magic sleigh, and holiday traditions in different countries. And…for all you investigative minds out there, log onto NORAD HQ on the site to read the Secret Santa Files.

How did NORAD come to track Santa each year? In 1955, A Sears store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, printed an ad with a phone number for children to call to speak with Santa. The phone number, however, was incorrect, and was the phone number to NORAD’s Commander-in-Chief’s operations hotline. Colonel Harry Shoup, Director or Operations, did not know Santa’s phone number, but he had his staff check radar for Santa’s location on Christmas Eve, and children who continued to call were given updates. A tradition was born, and NORAD does a great job with this very special mission. This site is great fun. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

NORAD Tracks Santa - Official Website

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December 17, 2013

Full Cold Moon will be 100% Full Today at 1:29 A.M. Las Vegas time

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 8:37 pm
Full Moon

Full Moon

December 17, 2013

December’s Full Moon is called the Full Cold Moon. It is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark.

This full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.

Full Cold Moon information from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Each month, we will explain the traditional names of the full Moon along with some fascinating Moon facts. In this video, learn about the Full Cold Moon and the ancient rituals of the winter solstice.

In 2013, winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on December 21 (EST). Get more facts about the first day of winter.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

December 4, 2013

LincVolt: Repowering the American Dream

Filed under: California Information, Miscellaneous — William @ 11:22 am
LincVolt

LincVolt

LincVolt is a 1959 Lincoln Continental, owned by musician Neil Young, that was converted into a more fuel-efficient, hybrid demonstrator vehicle.

According to the LincVolt website, the goal of the LincVolt project is “to inspire a generation by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology that serves the needs of the 21st Century and delivers performance that is a reflection of the driver’s spirit. By creating this new power technology, Lincvolt hopes to reduce the demand for petro-fuels enough to eliminate the need for war over energy supplies, thereby enhancing the security of the USA and other nations throughout the world.” Read more on WIKI page

From The Official LincVolt Website

Vision
Our goal is to inspire a generation by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology that serves the needs of the 21st Century and delivers performance that is a reflection of the driver’s spirit. By creating this new power technology we hope to reduce the demand for petro-fuels enough to eliminate the need for war over energy supplies, thereby enhancing the security of the USA and other nations throughout the world.

Values
We want to build a zero emissions automobile that eliminates roadside re-fueling entirely, a safe powerful automobile that is comfortable and economic on both long trips and the commute to work, an automobile that can generate power to the home when it is parked, potentially creating an income stream for the owner.

Methods

By working with established technologies in new ways, with the best people and companies available in each field, and creating a film about the innovative re-powering of a 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible and its trip around the USA, we aim to publicize our story of innovation to make a major difference in the knowledge of, creation, and use of clean power in the 21st Century. a 2.5 ton 19.5 foot automobile, making automotive history with an extended range and mpg that has never been attained in a full size vehicle.

More from The Official LincVolt Website

December 1, 2013

Denver Post Goes All In For Pot

Filed under: Miscellaneous — William @ 12:55 pm

MAX RIVLIN-NADLER on GAWKER

Denver Post Goes All In For Pot

Denver Post Goes All In For Pot

With the legalization of the sale of marijuana coming into effect in Colorado on January 1st, everyone in the Centennial State has been getting ready for the bloodshot eyes of the nation to be on them. In that spirit, the Denver Post has hired a marijuana editor, and their introductory interview with him is pretty amazing.

Ricardo Baca, who covered entertainment and music for the newspaper for the past twelve years, will be taking over the post. He seems pretty excited.

Does he smoke weed?

“The short answer: I’ve covered concerts for a living over the last 15 years. That means hanging out with musicians, working with people in the industry, attending music festivals in Austin and the Coachella valley and New York and L.A. So yes.

Will he share the “beat” with the other reporters in the newsroom?

My colleagues who first approached me about this job told me that I will have access to reporters throughout the newsroom, and the entire staff knows that this is our biggest initiative for the coming year. Best of all, the staff wants to be involved because we’re all professional journalists and this behemoth of a story is the real deal.

Will there be a marijuana critic?

We are absolutely hiring a freelance pot critic. And a freelance pot advice columnist. And a freelance video game writer. What we’re doing here is covering cannabis culture and news from a professional, journalistic and critical point of view. If you think you have something to offer: rbaca@denverpost.com. Read more…


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